i know it doesn't really matter, but it means something to me to post something every day and it's a discipline.
anyway, i wrote to the tompkins county historical society just to tell them what all i had pieced together, because while it's no earth-shaking news to them, they love history and they love ithaca history in particular.
donna eschenbrenner, the director of archives wrote to me, in part:
Since we are all avid lovers of history in all its guises, we can relate well to your very personalized search for information about the Mintz family of Ithaca. ... We happen to have a Lawrence Mintz Collection, and it contains interesting things like a family photo album, transcripts of some of his correspondence, newspaper clippings, and some memorabilia of his service in World War I.
and one of the living descendants wrote back to me, so i sort of feel i have delivered something.
these awesome people, these stories and hints of stories: they belong to you. they are part of where you came from. your grandfather, he was the life of a lot of parties. he worked his way up some ladders.
your great grandfather did well for himself, but he was also generous and funny. a hundred years ago he was living in a house that still stands and you can look at it in google maps.
i think he would be proud of you.